The US Army announced this week that Private First Class Marissa Jo Gloria, 25, and 20-year-old Specialist Clay Welch were both found unresponsive in their barracks and declared dead by emergency medical staffers over the weekend.
Welch, a combat medic specialist with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, had been in South Korea since February and was found dead on Sunday, March 22, according to the Army Times.
"Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Murphy and I would like to send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Spc. Welch. Our thoughts are with them during this difficult time," Lt. Col. James Armstrong, expressed in an Army news release, as reported by the outlet. "Clay's death affects every member in our formation. We are all deeply saddened by the loss."
Gloria, a combat engineer assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division sustainment brigade, died on Saturday, March 21, after being stationed at Camp Humphreys since April 2019.
“Marissa was a key member of the Jungle Cats Battalion,” Lt. Col. Robert Dion, commander of the brigade’s 11th Engineer Battalion, remarked in the Army release. “We are all deeply saddened by the loss and will keep her family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
The Army release noted that neither soldier died due to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, nor did they exhibit any symptoms related to the disease, according to the International Business Times. Investigations surrounding their actual causes of death remain active.
As of the publication of this article, South Korea has reported a total of 9,137 cases of the novel coronavirus and 126 deaths related to the contagious disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. At least 3,730 individuals previously infected with COVID-19 have recovered in South Korea.
Late last month, joint drills between the US and South Korea were delayed after a 23-year-old US Forces Korea soldier infected with the novel coronavirus was transferred to the Camp Humphreys garrison.